It is necessary to launch a sustained effort to wrest control of our democracy from the corporate government and restore it to the political government under the control of citizens.Giant multinationals are pitting countries against one another and escaping national jurisdictions more and more.Citizen advocates have no other choice but to close the democracy gap by direct political means.Even under a rigged system, shareholder pressures on management sometimes have shaken complacency, wrongdoing, and mismanagement.
Taxpayers have very little legal standing in the federal courts and little indirect voice in the assembling and disposition of taxpayer revenues.For all optimistic Americans, when their issues are thus swept from the table, it becomes civic mobilization time.One import of these contrasts is clear: economic growth has been decoupled from economic progress for many Americans.They demanded that economic power subside or be shared.Can we plan ahead as a society so we know our priorities and where we wish to go?
Jeff Gates, author of The Ownership Solution.The complete dominion of traditional yardsticks for measuring economic prosperity masks not only these failures but also the inability of a weakened democracy to address how and why a majority of Americans are not benefitting from this prosperity in their daily lives.Motor vehicle fuel efficiency averages are actually declining and, overall, energy conservation efforts have slowed, while renewable energy takes a back seat to fossil fuel and atomic power subsidiesWealth inequality is greater than at any time since WWII.This state of affairs is a world away from the legislative milestones in civil rights, the environment, and health and safety of workers and consumers seen in the sixties and seventies.We can have a democratic society or we can have great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few.Americans, including our children?
It is easy and true to say that this deep democracy campaign will be an uphill one.If, instead of corporate yardsticks, we use human yardsticks to measure the performance of the economy and go beyond the quantitative indices of annual economic growth, structural deficiencies become readily evident.Overall, our country has come out better, more tolerant, safer, and with greater opportunities.The earlier nineteenth century democratic struggles by abolitionists against slavery, by farmers against large oppressive railroads and banks, and later by new trade unionists against the brutal workplace conditions of the early industrial and mining era helped mightily to make America and its middle class what it is today.We cannot have both.How long can the paper economy of speculation ignore its effects on the real economy of working families?At that time, informed and dedicated citizens powered their concerns through the channels of government to produce laws that bettered the lives of millions of Americans.
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Every major religion in the world has warned about societies allowing excessive influences of mercantile or commercial values.Truly progressive political movements do not just produce more good results; they enable a flowering of progressive citizen movements to effectively advance the quality of our neighborhoods and communities outside of politics.Over the past twenty years, big business has increasingly dominated our political economy.In addition it is designed to leave a momentum after election day for the various causes that committed people have worked so hard to further.Are we able to end homelessness and wretched housing conditions with modern materials, designs, and financing mechanisms, without bank and insurance company redlining, to meet the affordable housing needs of millions of Americans?By their control in Congress, they keep the federal cops off the corporate crime, fraud, and abuse beats.The scope of this campaign is also to engage as many volunteers as possible to help overcome ballot barriers and to get the vote out.
At the same time, the public learned about these hazards.At the least, our government can facilitate the voluntary banding together of interested citizens into democratic civic institutions.Pluralistic democracy has enlarged markets and created the middle class.Can we counter the coarse and brazen commercial culture, including television which daily highlights depravity and ignores the quiet civic heroisms in its communities, a commercialism that insidiously exploits childhood and plasters its logos everywhere?Such a culture strengthens existing civic associations and facilitates the creation of others to watch the complexities and technologies of a new century.They imperiously demand and get a wide array of privileges and immunities: tax escapes, enormous corporate welfare subsidies, federal giveaways, and bailouts.
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When citizen participation flourishes, as this campaign will encourage it to do, human values can tame runaway commercial imperatives.Each time the cycle of corporate plutocracy has lengthened, injustices and shortcomings proliferate.Many unions stagger under stagnant leadership and discouraged rank and file.Putting human values first helps to make business responsible and to put government on the right track.Government research and development generated whole new industries and company startups and created the Internet.At a very low cost, government can help democratic solution building for a host of problems that citizens face, from consumer abuses, to environmental degradation.They brandish their willingness to close factories here and open them abroad if workers do not bend to their demands.
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Big business lobbies opposed all of this progress strenuously, but they lost and America gained.Democracy works, and a stronger democracy works better for reputable, competitive markets, equal opportunity and higher standards of living and justice.Can we stop the giveaways of our vast commonwealth assets and become better stewards of the public lands, better investors of trillions of dollars in worker pension monies, and allow broader access to the public airwaves and other assets now owned by the people but controlled by corporations?Such civic organizations can create more level playing fields in the banking, insurance, real estate, transportation, energy, health care, cable TV, educational, public services, and other sectors.Building the future also means providing the youngest of citizens with citizen skills that they can use to improve their communities.As befits its name, the Green Party, whose nomination I seek, stands for the regeneration of American politics.
This campaign will challenge all Americans who are concerned with systemic imbalances of power and the undermining of our democracy, whether they consider themselves progressives, liberals, conservatives, or others.Are we reversing the disinvestment in our distressed inner cities and rural areas and using creatively some of the huge capital pools in the economy to make these areas more livable, productive and safe?It is permissible to ask, in the light of these astonishing shortcomings during a period of touted prosperity, what the state of our country would be should a recession or depression occur?Harnessing political power to corporate greed leaves us with a country that has far more problems than it deserves, while blocking ready solutions or improvements from being applied.The focus on fundamentals of broader distribution of power is the touchstone of this campaign.Furthermore, weak labor laws actually obstruct new trade union organization and leave the economy with the lowest percentage of workers unionized in more than 60 years.The struggle between the forces of democracy and plutocracy has ebbed and flowed throughout our history.
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However, it is also true that widespread reform will not flourish without a fairer distribution of power for the key roles of voter, citizen, worker, taxpayer, and consumer.One clear sign of the reign of corporations over our government is that the key laws passed in the 60s and 70s that we use to curb corporate misbehavior would not even pass through Congressional committees today.They weaken the common law of torts in order to avoid their responsibility for injurious wrongdoing to innocent children, women and men.Corporations, such as auto manufacturers, had to share more decision making with affected constituencies, both directly and through their public representatives and civil servants.If a robust civic culture does not shape the future, corporatism surely will.In the early 1970s, our economy split into two tiers.
Under these circumstances, workers are entitled to stronger labor organizing laws and rights for their own protection in order to deal with highly organized corporations.Citizen groups and individual thinkers have generated a tremendous capital of ideas, information, and solutions to the point of surplus, while our government has been drawn away from us by a corporate government.Our elections have been put out for auction to the highest bidder.The money of vested interests nullifies genuine voter choice and trust.When unconstrained, it can override or erode community, health, safety, parental nurturing, due process, clean politics, and many other basic social values that hold together a society.Workers are disenfranchised more than any time since the 1920s.
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Consider the economy, which business commentators say could scarcely be better.Despite record economic growth, corporate profits, and stock market highs year after year, a stunning array of deplorable conditions still prevails year after year.Republican Senator Mark Hatfield always used to decry?However, all the innovative solutions in the world will accomplish little if the injustices they address or the problems they solve have been shoved aside because plutocracy reigns and democracy wanes.This in an economy where impoverished assembly line workers suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome frantically process chickens which pass them in a continuous flow, where downsized white and blue collar employees are hired at lesser compensation, if they are lucky, where the focus of top business executives is no longer to provide a service that attracts customers, but rather to aquire customers through mergers and acquisitions.Or do we continue to let global corporations remain astride the planet, corporatizing everything, from genes to education to the Internet to public institutions, in short planning our futures in their image?
This is an arena which is, at present, shaped heavily by corporations that, despite record profits, pay far less in taxes as a percent of the federal budget than in the 1950s and 60s.Generally, it brings out the best performances from people and from businesses.Regulation of food, automobiles, banks and securities, for example, strengthened these markets along with protecting consumers and investors.It is time to redress fundamentally these imbalances of power.Ultimately, so did a chastened but myopic business community.Our political campaign will highlight active and productive citizens who practice democracy often in the most difficult of situations.Active citizens are left shouting their concerns over a deep chasm between them and their government.
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Direct consumer remedies, including class actions, have given pause to crooked businesses and have stopped much of this unfair competition against honest businesses.For the Greens know that political parties need also to work between elections to make elections meaningful.Returns on capital outpaced returns on labor, and job insecurity increased for millions of seasoned workers.Note: mention of these persons does not imply their support for this campaign.Why are campaigns just for candidates?
But I can no longer stomach the systemic political decay that has weakened our democracy.Antitrust enforcement helped protect our country from monopoly capitalism and stimulated competition.Our political leadership has been hijacked.They are in fact simply the two heads of one political duopoly, the DemRep Party.Abuses of economic power are nothing new.These are problems for which active citizens have solutions, yet their voices are not carrying across the democracy gap.
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Only effective national political leadership will restore the responsiveness of government to its citizenry.Closer scrutiny of these matters between elections is necessary.Now the average is over 400 times.American corporate capitalism from itself.This is the foundation of our campaign, to focus on active citizenship, to create fresh political movements that will displace the control of the Democratic and Republican Parties, two apparently distinct political entities that feed at the same corporate trough.They flood public elections with cash, and they use their media conglomerates to exclude, divert, or propagandize.
Congress or other rights accorded to states.Today we face grave and growing societal problems in health care, education, labor, energy and the environment.Americans combined, the worst inequality among large western nationDespite annual declines in total business liability costs, business lobbyists drive for more privileges and immunities for their wrongdoing.Producer and consumer cooperatives helped save the family farm, electrified rural areas, and offered another model of economic activity.